Remake Rehash or Something New?
Michael Taverna has come from nowhere to direct this $5 million 3D horror, because he last directed a film back in 1996, which was actually his debut, and now he has pair of 3D movies back to back. After this is released in July, he will finish off his new $5.8 million sci-fi movie Resilient 3D, which looks like it may come out at Christmas. Apartment 1303 was originally written and directed by Kei Oishi, a relatively unknown Japanese filmmaker, but now it’s time to add a more Western flavor, with a beady eye firmly fixed on the lucrative ‘Japanese horror remake’ market, which admittedly hasn’t been as good since the likes of The Ring made a killing, but now filmmakers have a new toy to play with, 3D. Just how much better will Apartment 1303 3D be over the 2007 version? Lets find out.
Rebecca De Mornay has had several memorable roles, with The Hand That Rocks the Cradle being the first movie I remember of note. She was also brilliant as the psychopathic mother of murdering kids in Mother’s Day, and once again gets to play mother, but this one plays guitar and drinks to excess. Maddie Slate (De Mornay) had a hit single out years ago and has lived life to the max ever since, with drugs and alcohol, and she annoys her daughters with her bad behavior. She doesn’t get along with her daughters Janet (Julianne Michelle) or Lara (Mischa Barton), so Janet moves into a new apartment building where the people she comes into contact with are a bit off. Actually, they are more than a bit off with the landlord taking the prize as a champion pervert. Janet is seeing ghosts and no one she tells will believe her, so she asks her new boyfriend Mark to help her move out of number 1303, but before it happens, she falls to her death leaving her grieving sister to investigate.
Corey Sevier has adopted the George Michael look for his role as Mark, and at times he was his double. The acting was good by all but De Mornay stole the show as her alcoholism caused her to act like a drama queen, but the effect was brilliant. The special effects were not bad but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before, with the ghost being a girl with long wet hair, bent of neck. The last time we saw her she was climbing out of a TV set in a different horror. The color scheme was rather bland but the sound was excellent, helping add to the effectively creepy atmosphere. This isn’t better than the original, nor is it worse, for I would say the are evenly matched and both are as effective, but It’s not even close to being as scary as The Ring but it is still a respectable little horror that is worth watching. I just don’t see it breaking any box office records.
Johnny’s Grade: C
Review by Johnny Thomas